Travis Hoechlin / Louis Goodman – Transcript

Louis Goodman / Travis Hoechlin – Transcript

Louis Goodman 00:03
Welcome to Love Thy Lawyer, where we generally talk with attorneys about their lives and careers. I’m Louis Goodman. Today, we are speaking with Travis Hoechlin, who is not a lawyer, but works closely with us. Born and raised in Southern California, and we won’t hold that against him, Travis always had a dream to own a company that made a difference in people’s lives.

He has 15 years of experience in legal marketing. His company is RizeUp Media, and you can find that at R I Z E U P M E D I A dot com. He loves sports of all types and has appeared on numerous legal podcasts, including one of my favorites, Benny Gold’s The Lawyer Stories podcast, Travis Hoechlin, welcome to Love Thy Lawyer.

Travis Hoechlin 01:06
Thanks for having me. Excited to be here.

Louis Goodman 01:08
It’s a pleasure to talk to you. Where are you speaking to us from right now?

Travis Hoechlin 01:12
I’m actually down in Elisa Viejo, California. So in Orange County, California.

Louis Goodman 01:17
Can you explain a little bit about what sort of business that you have and how it’s useful for lawyers?

Travis Hoechlin 01:25
As you mentioned, I have 15 years of experience of exclusively working with lawyers and handling their marketing and their client development.

I guess like most entrepreneurs, maybe many of the folks that are listening to this podcast about five years ago, we just were, or my business partner and I, we are one of the big box store marketing companies. And we just figured we could, we’re confident that we could build a better product and provide a better service for our clients.

And it gave us enough courage to finally make the leap and scratch that itch, which was the entrepreneurship that we always wanted to do. And here we are four and a half years later, we worked with about 350 law firms all throughout the country, all different practice areas. And yeah, our sweet spot typically is solo practitioners up to about 5 or 10 attorneys.

Louis Goodman 02:13
Where are you from originally?

Travis Hoechlin 02:15
Born and raised right here in Southern California.

Louis Goodman 02:17
Can you give me a brief experience of your educational background?

Travis Hoechlin 02:22
Yeah. So I grew up in Norco, California. I went to college and played baseball at Citrus College for two years. And then I was in your backyard up at Cal state Hayward, where I went to school for a couple of years and played baseball there.

I think I still, I think we’re 24, 25 years from that time, I think I still own the hitting record. And the last time I looked at my, that’s my claim to fame. All right. That’s a glory days brag, I guess. Back in the day I was there.

Louis Goodman 02:50
Well, the fact that you went to Harvard on the Hill right here on Hayward, as far as I’m concerned, qualified you to be on the podcast right away.

Travis Hoechlin 03:01
There we go. There we go. I’ll take it. I’ll take it any way I can get it.

Louis Goodman 03:04
Well, tell me a little bit about what your experience in Hayward was like, because, you know, most of the people who listen to this podcast are pretty familiar with Hayward and the surrounding areas.

Travis Hoechlin 03:14
Yeah. I loved it. And like I said, it was the first two years I was away from Southern California. What I remember most about it. Certainly, it was a great experience all the way around, but I forget what year that was, but it was El Nino year. And I remember I hadn’t seen that much rain in my whole life. Baseball was my passion and I was able to do decently well up there and that wouldn’t change it for the world. It was great.

Louis Goodman 03:36
So before you started the particular business that you’re in right now did you work in marketing with any professions other than attorneys?

Travis Hoechlin 03:45
For my own business. I mean, I started out in sales. My first job was in sales. I guess like maybe a lot of people, maybe not lawyers, but a lot of people get done with college and you didn’t know what you wanted to be when you grew up.

And my dad was a doctor by trade. That wasn’t in the cards for me. He had recommended that I talked to a family friend who was in sales and just kind of honed my skills in selling a bunch of different things. I got in the mortgage business at one point. I cut my teeth in marketing for our own business in the marketing world.

And once we closed down that business, I reached out to a friend and he was in the lawyer marketing business, which I knew nothing about. And he said, I know you can sell, I know, you know, a bit about marketing. Okay. I can teach you the lawyer stuff, or at least enough what you don’t need to know the ins and outs of law, but you certainly need to understand how their business works and how they get paid and how a law firm generates money.

And I said, if you can teach me that part, I can hustle. And here we are 15 some odd years later, and it’s been a blast. It’s been a blast. So there’s definitely a need out there. And so it, I really feel like we fill a need that a lot of law firms need and help with. So they can, so they can succeed and build their firm.

Louis Goodman 05:04
Yeah. I never took a marketing or business class in law school. I don’t think that law schools generally teach that. And I’ve said before on this podcast that I think it’s a matter of malpractice in terms of education. The fact that law schools do not address the notion of lawyers being businesspeople and the importance of lawyers building a book of business.

I fully understand that. And, I don’t know, maybe you can comment on that a little further, since you do work with lawyers.

Travis Hoechlin 05:37
They teach you to be an employee, you know, that type of thing. So, I think that’s drastically needed, you know, as I’ve built this business. We’re always looking for mentors to help us to make sure we’re building this thing the right way.

Ironically enough, I probably know how to build a, not probably. I know how to build a, at least build, get business in the door for a law firm, maybe better than I do for our own business.

Louis Goodman 05:59
There’s all kinds of businesses and all kinds of professionals that need marketing, that need SEO services. What is it though, that you really like about working with lawyers and that keeps you working with lawyers as opposed to some other type of profession or business?

Travis Hoechlin 06:20
That’s a great question. I’ve heard a lot of calls. And I’ve heard how lawyer, you know, the work that the good work that many of the lawyers do out there, you know, whether it’s somebody who got in a tragic car accident that, you know, some insurance company is trying to screw them over and luckily there’s a, there’s a lawyer out there on their side, or it’s somebody who is incorrectly accused of a crime or, you know, any of the different practice areas, adoption attorneys, that was probably one of the best ones I’ve heard where, you know, I got to hear the conversation between the attorney matching up the adoptive parents with the birth mother and the, and the baby, which was still gives me goosebumps to this day. Just hearing that was a really cool experience.

But just knowing that we’re doing marketing to drive potential clients to law firms, that’s in lawyers that really make a difference.

Louis Goodman 07:17
If a young person were coming out of college, would you recommend thinking about legal marketing as a career choice?

Travis Hoechlin 07:25
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, sales and marketing, if you can drive business to another business owner, you’ll never go hungry. Right? If you can, if you can be a rainmaker and you can help somebody, help build their business, there’s going to be somebody out there that’s willing to pay you a reasonable rate to do so.

So I love sales. That’s my, you know, I’m very passionate about sales and marketing and that’s always been what I do. And yeah, I would absolutely recommend it.

Louis Goodman 07:55
How is actually doing this work met or perhaps differed from your expectations about it?

Travis Hoechlin 08:01
I thought it would be very, very scary to work with lawyers and professionals who have greater degrees, college degrees than I do and so on and so forth. But reality is if they can sense that you’re trying to help, it’s not scary at all. And they’re great people.

Louis Goodman 08:18
How long has search engine optimization, SEO, how long has that been around?

Travis Hoechlin 08:26
Quite some time, 20, 25 years, something like that.

Louis Goodman 08:28
Well, what’s an algorithm, what do they do? And how does that apply to Google searches and SEO in terms of finding a lawyer and a lawyer’s website?

Travis Hoechlin 08:43
So from a 50,000 foot view, what an algorithm is, is what determines when you do a search, whether it’s for a doctor, a lawyer, tickets to a ballgame or a new pair of shoes or whatever you’re searching, those results that come up on Google, Bing, Yahoo, whatever, whatever you’re searching are determined by that algorithm.

And no one knows except the people who work at Google. And I’m sure there’s a finite amount of those guys who know exactly what the algorithm is. That’s why we spend many of our hours of the day trying to figure out and test and so forth so we can get folks to the top of the search results. But yeah, it’s all determined by an algorithm of and where you show up in that particular search result.

Louis Goodman 09:28
You just mentioned Bing and Yahoo. Are there any search engines other than Google, for example, Bing or Yahoo or any of the others that are really worth worrying about from an SEO marketing point of view?

Travis Hoechlin 09:42
Where the biggest pond is, greater than 80, 85 percent of the search traffic happens in Google. The algorithms are built very, very similar. So if you’re, if we get somebody to show up on the first page in Google, it’s going to trend, it’s going to also show up in Bing and Yahoo for the most part. Google’s where it’s at. They own the market. There’s no question about it.

Louis Goodman 10:03
Why is doing search engine optimization for one’s website so important as to the way Google searches for specific bits of information?

Travis Hoechlin 10:14
Great question. So why, so I often get this question of, I get on the phone with an attorney on a Zoom call. And essentially what they’re asking is how should I spend my budget, right? Whether that’s a dollar or a million dollars or 10 million dollars or anywhere in between, how should I spend my budget? And I tell people, there’s three types of attorneys that walk in the door and ask us for help. There’s the folks that say, Hey Travis, if I hand you a dollar, I need to see five bucks back right away, like within the first month. Cause I don’t have this long budget. And so there are particular products like pay per click advertising or local service ads. And I’m sure we’ll get into that a little bit, or Facebook marketing or ads and so forth that generate business right away where it turned on like a light switch, right? You turn it on and a day or two later, your phone has the potential to ring. And those are people who need to see instant gratification.

There’s other folks that come into us and go, Hey, Travis, you know, if I were to stereotype or categorize, it’s the folks who have been around a bit, right? A little longer in the tooth, more mature law firm. And where they say something along the lines of, Hey, Travis, we’ve been in business a long time. Business is good. We’ve neglected our online presence for a long period of time, just cause we, most of our business comes in through referrals. And so we haven’t needed it. But when I’ve, what we’re starting to notice is the guys down the street, the young bucks down the street are starting to take the cases that quote unquote we should be getting, is usually the conversation.

And so, and I know they’re getting it from the internet because we’re, that’s the one place we’re not. So can you help me with my website and my online presence so I can eventually, I don’t need to see money come in the door tomorrow. As long as we’re profitable in the next six to 12 months and we have a flow of business coming in, that’ll check the box of mission accomplished.

And then there’s the third group, which is the combination of the two. And I don’t want to, and really what that comes down to because building a website and getting anybody who’s went down this path has heard someone like me say this. It takes time. It takes time. I know. Everybody wants to hear a different answer, but that is true. I will back up whoever’s saying that. But the difference is why you would want to invest in that is I think the best analogy, I don’t know if it’s the best analogy, but the analogy that I often tell is building a website is like buying a home or a piece of property.

Louis, if you and I went in and bought a house down the street from you or I tomorrow, somebody could come up to us and go, that’s a bad investment. There’s no equity there. Right outside of the money we may have needed to put down there’s no equity there, but we both know as we bought that piece of property, that’s what we were looking for. Our goal is five years, 10 years or longer down the road. That there’ll be equity there and we’ll get a payoff at that point, right?

That’s why you would invest in a piece of property and that that’s much like your website, right?

Travis Hoechlin 13:16
LSAs and PPC and Facebook ads are phenomenal. Instant gratification, if that is the right fit for somebody because they need to get cash flow into the business right away, they should do that. But that is kind of like renting an apartment. You’re never going to get equity there. Does that make sense?

Louis Goodman 13:35
I just want to define a couple of terms here. So PPC is pay per click, correct?

Travis Hoechlin 13:43
That is absolutely. It’s also called Google AdWords. Yeah, yes, absolutely.

Louis Goodman 13:47
And LSA, what’s that?

Travis Hoechlin 13:49
Yeah. I apologize for the acronym. So Local Service Ads. About two years ago, If any of your listeners are on the computer and they Google Houston personal injury attorney, or I don’t know, New York divorce lawyer or whatever you pick your city, you pick your practice area. You’ll see faces potentially show up at the top of the search results. Like at the very, very top, Google came out with a new product. They shoved it at the top and it’s their new pay per call program. Meaning if you do divorce work here in Southern California, it’s like 150 bucks, 200 per call, and you only pay after the phone rings, which is a benefit to many firms, benefits everybody.

And then they also let you dispute any calls that are unqualified under their terms, wrong practice area, wrong geography, or what have you. So, local service ads are the ones that show right at the top. You pay, it’s their pay per call program, and that pay per click typically shows up right under those now. They push them down and put their new product on top, but, and that’s a pay per click. It’s exactly like it sounds. You pay every time someone clicks on your ad, so on and so forth.

Louis Goodman 15:00
Is that also similar to, for example, Yelp or Avvo, where you can designate a very specific geographic area that you’re interested in marketing to?

Travis Hoechlin 15:12
Yeah, they have a similar, they’ve kind of copied Google’s model of pay.

Louis Goodman 15:16
What’s the difference between a website where a business, a law firm, for example, is basically putting up a brochure outlining their services and a website that really seeks to drive business to the firm? How do those SEO campaigns differ?

Travis Hoechlin 15:33
When a law firm comes to me, there’s a couple steps, like a pecking order of things that I need to worry about. Louis, if you came to me, Travis, help me out with my website. I would say first and foremost, before we talk about me bringing you a bunch of potential clients that are strangers, let’s talk about your referrals. Cause what almost every attorney has ever told me is my best business always come from referral. And I have no, I have very little to argue on that for the sake of argument I agree with that. And so what I need to do as a marketers and make sure that we are converting the people who are trying to find them. Or what I’d say is the fish that are trying to jump in the boat. I need to make sure that I allow that to happen or make that as easy as possible. So when I look at a website, number one, we need to worry about what we refer to as geeky marketers called conversion. How do we increase the conversion?

Cause they say referrals comes in twos and threes. And I think that’s accurate, right? When I get caught up in this business a long time, so every friend and family member that I know when they run into it, we’ll often call me and go, Hey, Travis, I know you work with lawyers. I got myself in this issue. Who should I call?

And I always give them two or three names because I don’t want them to come call me back because one guy didn’t answer the phone or Cal or whatever. So I would give two or three names and almost without exception every time I sit with an attorney, if you do personal injury work, I’ll say, where do you send your family law? Cause right. I’m sure your friends and family don’t, even though you probably told them a bunch of times what you do, how specialized you are, they still ask you, they call you every time they get a DUI or needed a state plan or get in a car accident or whatever.

And so I need to make sure that I’m setting up the website to convert more of those people who are trying to find them. And then secondly, same website, same look. You wouldn’t, you would have to have a trained eye to know the difference, but the SEO part of things a lot of times happens. In the coding in the back of the website or the internal pages, right?

If you want to show up for Hayward DUI attorney, you need a Hayward DUI page on your website. I’m going to oversimplify for the sake of your listeners. If you want to show up in Berkeley for DUI attorney, you need a Berkeley DUI page, right? We’ll get into the length of page and keywords and all this other nerdy stuff that we do. But from a marketing standpoint, like I tell people, you know, when we build a website, unless you’re looking on the backend or looking through the internal pages, you probably don’t know the strength of that website and where that’s showing up.

We have websites that would look identical. One of them, the guy doesn’t want to market at all, it’s just a conversion platform or a fancy brochure online. That’s all he wants. He or she wants. And we have, you know, law firm B if you will, that is spending 25,000 dollars a month with us on SEO. And they’re getting 30,000 visits a month from people that aren’t looking for them, but looking for their type of practice, like strangers, if you will.

From a look standpoint, if I showed them to you side by side on the screen, I would doubt that you would know which one is a clinical marketing website and which one is a fancy brochure.

Louis Goodman 18:50
So if someone is searching for a lawyer to handle a specific type of legal problem, you know, a DUI problem, a family law problem, a state planning problem, a contract writing problem, how does a firm market to that? And how does one describe their niche in such a way that the search engine will pick up on it?

Travis Hoechlin 19:11
So there’s a number of different spots on a page where basically you’re telling Google what the heck you did. The very first one is at the very, very top. And like, if you have a bunch of tabs open, those tabs at the top typically tell, it’s called a title tag, and it tells Google what the heck is on that page.

And the best analogy I can give you is, I don’t know if you still use old school files, you know, manila folder folders with the tabs at the top. But imagine in your mind, if you had a drawer at your desk and it had, and it had a file for every client that you ever worked with, and I said, Louis, open up the drawer and grab me the Tommy Jones file, you would open up the drawer and look at the tabs and look for Tommy Jones and you would pull out the file and open it up and we start to go through it.

That’s very, very similar to how Google does it. For every single page on a website. Now there’s other things on there, on that page and H1 headers and love these. Once again, I won’t geek out on you, but all these different things that Google is looking to get more information about what’s on that particular page.

There is data that Google, and they try to hide it more and more, but there’s data you can figure out. Like if somebody does contract work, you figure out what keywords are most likely to be that in the past 30 days or last year or whatever, that people search when they’re looking for that particular type of practice and how they’re searching for it.

So if you do contract work, if you do, you know, contract disputes, you need a contract dispute page. If you want contract drafting, you need a contract drafting page and explain on there cause there’s a delicate balance on each page. We’re speaking to two audiences typically.

It’s Google is number one, because if we’re not talking to them, Google is never going to serve you up. So it defeats the purpose. And then number two, I tell people with content, you guys are all very, very educated. But I tell people, listen, we’re not trying to attract you necessarily. I know there’s some exceptions to that. We’re trying to attract your potential client. The average internet reader reads that depending on what stats you look at, like seventh or eighth grade level.

So don’t make it sound like some Westlaw book, you know, where it speaks over somebody’s head. We tried to make it simple and to the point, and you’re not trying to solve their issue on that page. You’re ideally trying to get them to read enough to go, Hey, Louis knows what he’s talking about. I’m going to pick up the phone and call.

That’s the mousetrap, if you will, that we’re trying to, to, to put together for every firm that we work with.

Louis Goodman 21:42
You know, for the most part, listeners to this podcast are attorneys and we’ve spent our entire lives being at the top of our classes in school. We’ve gone to college, we’ve gone to law school. Law school has kind of a built in intellectual weeding process. We’ve worked at firms. Many of us have established practices. We’re in a heavily regulated industry. We have obligations to clients. We have obligations to the courts and yet the search engines treat us as some kind of a fly by night operation selling snake oil.

Well, why is that? And how do we as attorneys overcome that?

Travis Hoechlin 22:24
Okay. So there’s a delicate balance. I think number one, lawyers need to pick an agency or marketing agency that exclusively markets for lawyers, because if not, who’s writing that content or if they don’t, then they’re going to throw it back in your plate and say, Hey, you write the content. And they’re making you hang yourself because unless you have the SEO chops that I don’t know about that, most attorneys don’t or they wouldn’t be talking to me in the first place.

All the, all the writers that we have, all the content writers that we have on our team, they’re all lawyers or ex lawyers and we run all the content by the attorney beforehand to make sure we’re accurate, right? Make sure we’re not putting you out there to where there’s liability. That’s number one.

As far as differentiating law firms from anything else out there doing snake, you know, selling snake oil. I think that comes into the content as well, you know, and making sure that you sound professional and you’re giving the potential client the information that they’re looking for. Did that answer your question?

Louis Goodman 23:30
Yeah. And I mean, I kind of also wondered sort of as you see it, like what factors go into good SEO, and what’s Google looking for and what’s the problem from the Google point of view?

Travis Hoechlin 23:43
There’s a couple questions in there, but from a 50,000 foot view, first of all, there’s hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of things that go into Google’s algorithm of what they are quote unquote looking for. I would say the main two things that they’re looking for, and this hasn’t really changed to a large degree.

Content is still king. Listen, if you run a criminal law practice and you have a hundred pages on criminal law and I have five, if everything else is equal, you’re going to show up before I am. Right?

If you’re, if you’re trying to show up for a Hayward DUI attorney and all your competitors have 5,000 words on their DUI page, guess what? You 5,000 words on your DUI page. So content is still king. If you think about it, Google monetizes their business in a lot of different ways. What they are trying to serve up is, whether we’re looking for a lawyer, a new pair of shoes or tickets to a ball game, that’s what we say, who is the most authoritative? Who is going to give the best results, right? Who’s gonna, who has the best information so it satisfies the user? Because if they don’t satisfy the user, that’s where they’re going to jump over to Yahoo and Bing, and that loses market share for them. So that’s certainly what they’re looking for.

Louis Goodman 24:57
Okay, so how does one establish their website as an authoritative website?

Travis Hoechlin 25:06
A couple of different ways. Content is one of them. Like we have proprietary software where, you know, when somebody is trying to show up, I keep using Hayward DUI attorney. That’s what they’re looking to show up for. We put that keyword into our software. We go and look up their five main competitors are showing up on page one. And it does an analysis of what they, where they’re at now and where all their competitors are at, the ones that they’re trying to overtake and it spits out a long report that we run on every page that we do prior to even writing it, right? So that’s step one.

The second thing is, so content is king, number one. And number two is backlinks. And what, what I mean by a backlink, It’s not your website linking somewhere else. What Google wants to know is think of it as a virtual recommendation. So if there’s Forbes or there’s AVO or there’s any of these lawyer blogs or anything that’s topic relevant, Google looks at those websites that have a domain authority, that they’ve already figured out have authority.

They figure those websites will spend their time, money, and resources to get people to come to their website. And then they’ll have a link to your website saying, go check him out, then you must know what you’re talking about. And so what Google wants to see is that other websites, we call them backlinks in our world, that it’s either topically relevant or it’s locally relevant.

And those are the two things. So backlinks from, and you know, people obviously. The crooks are always a step ahead of the cops, you know, type of thing. And folks in our world, is called black hat. They’re always trying to skate the system. And so Google’s always trying to crack down on it.

So they want to see that it’s not just a quantity of backlinks, but quality, right? You can’t just go get 10,000 backlinks from whatever site that, you know, is out there to be had and point to a lawyer site, it has to be topically and locally relevant.

Louis Goodman 27:09
So can Google be tricked and, why is it a good idea not to do that or to do that?

Travis Hoechlin 27:18
First of all, Google can always be tricked, right? There’s folks that that’s their whole game right in other industries, right? It happens a lot in the gaming industry in the mortgage industry where you know, people will create, you know, companies will create 500 different websites and and all all these websites are trying to trick google and they don’t care if one gets penalized or 10 of them get penalized because they have another 450 of them that they can use.

With lawyers my recommendation is don’t try to trick Google, do it all by the book, white hat, straightforward by the book. Because most lawyers only have one website. So you can’t afford to have Google put you in the penalty box, especially if you’re relying on that website for a portion of your income. Google will always find out at some point and it’s probably going to happen at the most inopportune time. Do it by the book. There’s not a lot of payoff in the law. There’s no long-term payoff. If you’re skating the system way. And we, uh, I don’t see any advantage of doing that, especially when you have one website and you’re eventually going to get caught. It doesn’t make any sense to me.

Louis Goodman 28:32
Are there any tools that you can use to find out what Google is looking for?

Travis Hoechlin 28:38
Sure. There’s tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs and things that, you know, tools that are probably make more sense to my team than it would necessarily a lawyer. But what I tell every lawyer is whether you just hanging up a shingle and you have a couple of bucks in your pocket or you’re, you know, on the other end of that spectrum and you have a whole war chest to go after this.

You got to make a business decision. I did this building my business, you know, they’re there they’re there in the beginning I wrote all our social media posts, me personally and then as you grow to a certain point you’re like that doesn’t make financial sense anymore I need to hire somebody to take that off my plate and I would encourage, I always encourage lawyers to do the same thing. I say, listen, here’s all of our different products, you know, I tell people we do five things. We build websites We do SEO we do social media, we manage pay per click campaigns and we manage the local service ads. And that’s what we do.

I said, use a shopping cart approach. Same thing as when you go in a store, grocery store, you don’t get every item off of every aisle, right? You can pick and choose what you need. And I tell people to do the same thing with their marketing agency. And anything you could do yourself and not pay somebody like me, do it yourself until it financially doesn’t make sense to do so. Cause you know what you get paid on an hourly basis or per case or whatever it may be. And you’ve got to do the math in your own head of does it make sense? Can I outsource this for 1,000 or 500 bucks or whatever it may be and get it off my plate and I can go get one or two more cases and get a 10 times return on my money.

Louis Goodman 30:14
So how can smaller or less well funded firms compete against larger, more established, better monetized firms?

Travis Hoechlin 30:24
Great question. Focus locally, the wider you go geographically and the wider you go in types of cases, the more expensive it’s going to be. If you’re just starting out and, you know, focusing just on Hayward for just DUIs, or maybe just expungements is more financially achievable than going after the whole Bay Area for everything under the sun when it comes to criminal law.

And so when you’re first starting out, find a niche and stay there. And, you know, and maybe the big picture, you’re like, I have no ambition to do expungement my whole life that, you know, if you charged 200 bucks or 250 bucks or 500 or whatever, someone charges for expungement and you can do, you charge 500 bucks and you can do 10 of them a month, well, that’s, you know, it doesn’t take that much time from my understanding, I’m no lawyer, but from my understanding, they’re pretty simple to do. Now you just created 5,000 dollars worth of cashflow. Now invest that money back into your marketing, to where you can expand.

But I see that mistake. It’s a great question. And I see a lot of people, you know, come to me with, you know, they have champagne tastes and a beer budget. And they’re like, Hey, I want to do everything for everybody everywhere. And I’m like, whoa, slow down. Let’s we need to get, unless you have a war chest or you’re a trust fund baby. And you have all this money that you just don’t care. We need to get smart with your money.

And that’s where I like to think that’s where we differentiate being a business owner myself, I obviously wear those shoes and wear that hat and make sure they understand what they’re getting into and make sure I put them in the, you know, like for us, it doesn’t, it makes no sense to bring on somebody for a month or two and them to be pissed off and leave it. We didn’t make any money. And now we have a person upset out there in the world that’s saying bad things about us. We’re choosing who we bring on and make sure we’re, we’re setting that firm up with the right product and service, like we talked about, you know, earlier to make sure that they’re going to see success and understand their goals, right? Where are they going?

Louis Goodman 32:35
What do you think about building websites using WordPress versus Squarespace or any other platform? Does it matter?

Travis Hoechlin 32:46
A big portion of the internet is built on WordPress. That’s where we build all of our sites and we could choose any platform we wanted to. WordPress is the best place to go. No doubt about it.

Make sure you own your website and you’re able to unplug and plug back in somewhere else without having to build it again. We see that a lot where some of these. You know, entities own their website, own the client’s website. And so they’re having to go then invest more money in building a new website where, you know, we build everything on WordPress and they’re able to just unplug and God forbid we lose somebody, you know, we don’t hold them hostage and they can move to the next place.

And the majority of website builders are familiar with WordPress and so that makes it an easy transition. Google tends to like WordPress, you know, it’s typically pretty clean for them to crawl the websites. So I’m a hundred percent, I think you’re doing yourself a disservice by doing anything different.

Louis Goodman 33:43
How do you and the lawyers work together? Is it a matter of coaching the lawyer through the process or doing it for the firm or some combination of those things?

Travis Hoechlin 33:52
Well, all the marketing piece, we need to know where they want to show up, who they want, what kind of cases they want to go after or matters and how many they want. Right. We need to know what the goals are. And maybe it’s in, in different segments maybe we need to start somewhere and then take the next step. It’s not going to be all in one fell swoop. But what I, what we spend a lot of time on is coaching up and this is huge. Like I tell everybody, you know, like I said, we deal with solo practitioners up to about 10 attorneys.

They’re typically David and Goliath, right? They’re, they’re, they’re not Goliath. And so we need to teach them to convert more of their opportunities. And what I mean by that is we, like I said, 300, 350 firms that we work with, I would say the average firm answers their phone about 65 percent of the time. And listen, I have no skin in the game in this. I don’t own a, you know, I don’t own an answering service. So I’m completely, I don’t have a dog in this fight, but why we have to roll up our sleeves and get involved in this, and we record all the calls so they can listen to them because many, many times it’s a very eye-opening experience where they don’t realize that they’re missing 40 percent of their phone calls.

Because they’re a solo practitioner, and they’re in court, and their phone’s ringing, right? And so we coach them to go, hey, go find a, and we either lead them to or have them pick of their choosing an answering service to be a backup when they can’t answer the phone. Because people, strangers aren’t going to leave messages.

Attorneys think that. Oh, I’m an attorney, I have this degree, and I, you know, I was the best in my class, and yada, yada, yada, and everybody knows me. Well, listen, they went online and searched DUI attorney. They didn’t know you, or they would have searched Joe Schmuck. You know what I mean? Or whatever their names are.

So these are strangers and we’re in a fast food society to where they expect instant gratification. And so if they, and it’s too easy for them to hit the back button. So no matter what you’re, you know what your ego tells you, if you’re not answering the phone, people are going to hang up, hit the back button and call the next person on the list, period. Because Louis, if a friend or family member told me, recommended you and I looked you up by name and I called you and you were a reference, I was referred to you, I would call, if I got your voicemail, I’d leave you a message. And wait for you to call me back. Cause my alternative is to jump on the internet and call strangers. Right? And that’s what most attorneys are used to.

If you don’t call me back down, I got to go to the internet and now I’m calling strangers. Now I don’t care. You know, Oh yeah, you got this award and you’ve done this and you got this settlement, blah, blah, blah, blah. That doesn’t even register with most people. They don’t understand what that means. And they’re so used to reading a bunch of hogwash anyway, that they’re looking for. I think it’s like. I think the number, your listeners can fact check that, I think it’s like 73 percent of people pick the first attorney that they talk to.

The first one, the first one to answer the phone. If you can just do it, do good, get good at that one thing, answering the phone, answering the phone or making it easy for clients to call you, whether or call you or text you or chat with you or email you or whatever it may be. Make it easy for them and answer the phone and you’ll spend half the money on marketing and get twice the result.

If they could just fix that one thing, they’re halfway there. They really, really are.

Louis Goodman 37:24
Let’s say you came into some real money, let’s say three or four billion dollars. What, if anything, would you do differently in your own life?

Travis Hoechlin 37:31
I have two young kids. I have two daughters, five and seven.

My time with them would be, I mean, they’re my everything. My wife and my kids, they’re my everything. They’re my why for sure. With that kind of money, my wife and I enjoy traveling. We bring our, we, we want to our kids to experience. We both traveled quite a bit and we want our, our kids to experience different cultures and all those things and be better people than we are. You know?

And so I think I, that kind of money, we would do a lot more of that, but I don’t know that I would give this up completely, but we have some big goals here. I love to win. I’m competitive as anybody you’ll ever meet anyone. And for us to win, our clients have to win. If our clients, when they say good things about us, they’re able to grow their firm.

I mean, I’ve got goosebumps thinking about this right now. There’s no better text or call than a client saying, Travis, I just had the best month of my career. I appreciate you. I don’t tell you guys enough. That is why we do what we do. No question about it.

Louis Goodman 38:39
One more question along these lines. Let’s say you had a really big microphone, for example, a Super Bowl ad, you had 60 seconds on the Super Bowl. What would you like to say to that really big audience?

Travis Hoechlin 38:53
As corny as it may sound, be kind to one another, right? I mean, as simple as that, be kind to one another. I don’t understand when people aren’t that way, you know, kind of treat each other, treat each other like you’d wanna be treated.

Louis Goodman 39:07
Travis, if someone wants to get in touch with you, perhaps an attorney that’s looking to engage your services, what’s the best way for us to do that?

Travis Hoechlin 39:19
Go to my website,

That’s www RIZ as in zebra, And you can read all about us there and you can contact us straight from the website.

Louis Goodman 39:37 Great. Travis, is there anything that you wanted to talk about that we haven’t discussed? Anything that you’d like to bring up?

Travis Hoechlin 39:47
No, just if anybody even has, listen, if we’re not the right fit and you just have questions, you want to make sure either you’re heading in the right direction or make sure you’re not going in the wrong direction, please reach out. We’d like to be a resource whether we’re a fit now or maybe it’s down the road or maybe not at all. I would like to be a resource for the legal community. My team wants to be a resource for the legal community and make sure you’re spending your money wisely.

Louis Goodman 40:15
Travis Hoechlin, thank you so much for joining me today on the Love Thy Lawyer podcast. It’s been a pleasure to talk to you.

Travis Hoechlin 40:21
Thank you so much, Louis. I appreciate you having me.

Louis Goodman 40:24
That’s it for today’s episode of Love Thy Lawyer. If you enjoyed listening, please share it with a friend and follow the podcast. If you have comments or suggestions, send me an email. Take a look at our website at, where you can find all of our episodes, transcripts, photographs and information.

Thanks to my guests, and to Joel Katz for music, Bryan Matheson for technical support, Paul Robert for social media and Tracy Harvey. I’m Louis Goodman.

Travis Hoechlin 41:05
I don’t know. That is a great question. I don’t know. I don’t know. What about you?

Louis Goodman 41:11
I don’t know, I ask that question to people all the time and I think about it for myself, but I don’t have a really good answer.

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